Kylian Mbappé, PSG
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Rennes-PSG preview: No Mbappé for title chasers

Publish on 08/05/2021 at 16:21 - I. HOLYMAN

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Paris Saint-Germain will be without the suspended Kylian Mbappé as they attempt to respond to title rival Lille's victory and bounce back from their UEFA Champions League exit to Manchester City against Rennes on Sunday (kick-off 7pm GMT).

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After reaching the final last season, PSG saw their European ambitions evaporate at the semi-final stage on Tuesday as they were knocked out by City, and coach Mauricio Pochettino acknowledged the end of the club's continental challenge had taken its toll.

 

"Of course the players have been affected by the Champions League exit. It was an objective, and everyone reacts differently to it. We know that we have to turn the page, that we have to win, and that we'll have to put in a good performance and be better than our opponents," explained the Argentine.

 

"It's not easy but we are professionals. We need to move on. Of course we are disappointed because the UEFA Champions League is very important for the club and the fans. But we were so close to the final. The most important thing is to focus on what is to come and to be ready because there are three matches to go and anything is possible."

 

WATCH: What happened when PSG met Rennes earlier this season

 

 

 

PSG watched leaders Lille triumph 3-0 at Lens on Friday to move four points clear of the reigning champions in Round 36, leaving the northerners with just two games remaining in the 2020/21 top-flight season.

 

Following an accumulation of yellow cards, Mbappé will be missing at Roazhon Park along with the injured Marco Verratti and Juan Bernat as PSG seek a fifth successive triumph to put the ball back in Lille's court.

 

"Of course, Lille's victory puts additional pressure on us to win to reduce their lead. This victory depends on us, there are only three matches to go and we will see if one team drops points. There are obviously not many matches to go. We need to win tomorrow, it's essential in order to remain in the title race," said Pochettino, who will be able to count on Neymar after the Brazilian's contract extension on Saturday.

 

"The whole of the PSG family is happy about Neymar Jr's contract extension. The challenge, for all of the players, is to continue to grow as a team and use this individual talent for the best of the team. We want to continue to build a team. It's a huge challenge for the future. Paris Saint-Germain's ambition is there. Neymar Jr's extension is proof of that ambition, for the present and for the future. The club is working with the ambition of continuing to progress and win."

 

Rennes have European aspirations of their own coming into Round 36 in seventh place, just two points behind fifth-placed Lens, but suffered a setback with only their second defeat in eight matches under new coach Bruno Genesio in a surprise 1-0 loss to Bordeaux last weekend.

 

As well as the defeat, Steven Nzonzi's red card means both the FIFA World Cup winner and France international teammate Eduardo Camavinga, who — like Mbappé — is serving a one-match ban for an accumulation of yellow cards, will sit out the game. 

 

"It's a setback, but it's one of those difficult moments in a season that we have to be able to overcome," said Genesio of the Round 35 loss. "We would have preferred to have all of our strengths to face Paris, but those are the ups and downs of a season. 

 

"We'll have to compensate for the absences of Steven Nzonzi and Eduardo Camavinga. I often talk about the idea of the squad. We'll see what resources it has to compensate for them. What's important is that we ask ourselves questions and are able to bounce back, and not feel sorry for ourselves whatever the reason.

 

"We have to keep training well as we have done in recent times and we'll play Paris where we'll have everything to win. We're still in the hunt for a European place."

 

Probable teams


Rennes: Gomis - Traoré, Aguerd, Da Silva (c), Maoussa - Doku, Grenier, Bourigeaud, Tait - Terrier, Guirassy.

 

PSG: Navas - Florenzi, Marquinhos (c), Kimpembe, Diallo - Paredes, Danilo Pereira, Gueye - Neymar, Di Maria, Icardi.

 

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